Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast

Genuine Dialogue: Key to Effective Leadership

March 24, 2023 Gerrit Pelzer, Martin Aldergard Episode 20
Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast
Genuine Dialogue: Key to Effective Leadership
Show Notes Transcript

On the one hand, ‘every leader knows’ that it’s important to make all voices heard in an organisation, diversity and inclusion is critical. On the other hand, it’s still not uncommon to experience meetings where only a minority of participants are talking. And why is it so difficult to truly listen to opposing viewpoints?

It has a lot to do with dialogue. In this episode we go deeper into the practice of genuin dialogue, its benefits and challenges. And, as always Gerrit and Martin has very different entry-points. Gerrit is sharing his personal observations on why dialogue is so hard, and Martin is sharing tips on how leaders can increase the quality of dialogue in their conversations and team meetings.

Key moments

[08:55] Gerrit shares 3 observation of why dialogue and listening is hard:

  • the difference in motivation
  • emotions
  • own bias

The problem is not so much that ‘the other person is obviously wrong’, but that our underlying world-view is challenged.

[15:24] We don’t give enough time to listen, to let people share what is important to them. We say that we have an ‘open mind’, but suspending judgement and being non-defensive, is not easy. So we need to be aware of our own ‘trigger points’ as leaders by being more aware of:

  • What subject or situation might trigger defensiveness?
  • When might I raise my voice?
  • When might my non-verbal communication change to being more defensive?

[19:21] Leaders must become better in leading group dialogue, not only focus on the content of the conversation but also on the process,switching between wearing the leader-hat and the facilitator hat. Plan your meetings to include time for dialogue and create meeting structure that supports dialogue.

[24:23] Practical examples of easy to apply dialogue structures:

  • Equal Voice
  • 1-2-4-All

[27:52] Dialogue takes too much time. How to get around it? Put the time invested in the right context:

  • You hired all these smart and diverse people - it takes structure and time to help them ‘think together’.
  • The cost of failed or delayed transformation projects is larger than the upfront cost of good dialogue.

[32:05] Common misperceptions of ‘dialogue’:

  • The process of dialogue and then making decisions can be different. If we use dialogue to involve and let everyone be heard, doesn’t need to be followed by consensus decision making.
  • Dialogue doesn’t need to be all harmony and ‘holding hands’. The best dialogue is a safe enough environment to explore conflicting opinions.

 Reflection Questions: 

  • How can I use an approach of dialogue to scale up my influence and impact in my organisation? With what people or stakeholders, and for what questions?
  • What are the world-views that I hold dearly and that I don't like to see challenged, and in which situations, or what triggers me being defensive, ie. making it more difficult for me to have a dialogue?

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Martin Aldergård
Gerrit Pelzer

Second Crack – The Leadership Podcast
Episode 20

This transcript is AI-generated and may contain typos and errors.

[00:00:11] Gerrit: A warm welcome to episode number 20 of Second Crack - The Leadership Podcast. If you are new to the show, this is where we explore everyday leadership dilemmas and paradoxes, and where we invite you as our listener to self reflect. My name is Gerrit Pelzer, and as an executive coach, I help leaders create the conditions in which people can be their best. And I'm bringing to my coaching a combination of Western science and Asian wisdom. I am joined today as usual by my dear friend and business partner, Martin Aldergard. Martin is a leadership consultant who focuses on change and transformation in organizations, and what we both have in common is that we always put people at the center of our work.

[00:00:59] Gerrit: So, hi Martin. Good to be recording with you again today. 

[00:01:02] Martin: Hi, Gerrit. Yes, it has been a month since our last recording and today we're digging our teeth into this very interesting topic around dialogue. Hey, Gerrit have you been in meetings, let's say there are 10 people in the meeting and there's only 3 people speaking all the time?

[00:01:24] Gerrit: No, no. I've only been in meetings with, uh, 12 people and only 4 people speak. Yes, I think it's a very, very common corporate scenario. 

[00:01:34] Martin: Yeah. And, and, and I think you agree, right, when we say what a waste of time and what a waste of opportunity and what a waste of potential, right. And, and I think organizations, they just can't afford this for so many different reasons, right. So let's explore this topic more. 

[00:01:54] Gerrit: Yeah. Imagine right. Only 3 of 10 speaking you are, you are missing more than 70%. Yeah. And we wanna connect this today with genuine dialogue, and we spoke about genuine dialogue already many times in, in the context of leadership on our podcast. And, uh, genuine dialogue is different from discussion. In genuine dialogue we want to listen without judgment. We don't want to defend our point of view, but make an effort to understand where the other person is coming from and we want to explore and then as a result, new insights and new ideas can emerge.

[00:02:39] Gerrit: And Martin, you said, let's say we have spoken about genuine dialogue a couple of times, but you said that's worth a separate episode and I immediately got excited and, and said yes. However, once we then started preparing for the recording today, we realized we actually got excited about. Very different aspects, didn't we? 

[00:03:03] Martin: Yeah. And, and it's, it seems to be the same case as in the past. I'm looking very much from a group perspective and, and, and you are of course looking more from an individual perspective. And, and through our dialogue coming up to this recording, I think we, we realized the importance of how to practice good dialogue to find the common ground.

[00:03:27] Gerrit: Yeah, I think we are, we are quite good role models for that . And, um, maybe before we go into the details, the quick reminder, if you like the podcast, you can help us grow the show and one of the best ways to do so is by telling a friend or a colleague about it. And if you haven't subscribed yet, you can do that on your favorite podcast platform. Subscription is completely free, helps you not to miss any new episodes, and it's also a great sign of recognition for our work.

[00:03:58] Martin: So, so Gerrit, why don't you start and what, what made you excited about talking about dialogue, so to say again?

[00:04:09] Gerrit: Yeah, I mean it's really a big topic and it's so relevant in so many areas and I would say, let's say on the really most dramatic level, it's perhaps armed conflicts, right. We see it all the time, and then one side will say, we are the good ones. The others, they are the bad ones, so we need to kill them. And the other side says the exact same thing, but the other way around. No, we, we are the good ones. They are the bad ones. And we see it in politics. Uh, it seems in any parliament that I've seen in any country, politicians talk a lot. But no matter what they say, the other side will always ridicule it. Right. So, so nobody really listens. I don't see much dialogue in politics. I see a lot more polemics in, in, in politics, and, and that's not really helping. And so this, I'm right, you are wrong, we see this everywhere. We see it also at the workplace and at home. And my bottom line is here that the sheer willingness to listen to the others' perspectives, to being open to different points of view, mm, that seems to be severely limited in many, if not, no, most people. And I had some encounters, especially last year where I was really stunned about how differently people can look at the same world and at the same time also being very narrow minded about it. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, and at the same time, I'm also realizing that I also have my limitations to being open to other opinions despite best intentions. Right. It's a lot, it is a big part of my work, it's a big part of our work and I still see, I have a lot of development, uh, to do. So that's a high level summary of how, um, I got excited about this, the topic and said right away when you said, shall we have a separate episode on genuine dialogue, I said yes, let's, let's do that. Martin. What, what got you excited? Why did you propose it in the first place? 

[00:06:35] Martin: I am, I'm looking at more of, of, from a corporate perspective. And, and seeing it in my work, how much wasted potential there is in meetings, in conversations, bringing teams together. And of course when, when every company today is talking about diversity so important, we need to have a diverse teams. And then still seeing, yeah, we have all these great people around the meeting but how do we tap into their intelligence? How do we bring everybody's voice to the table? It's not enough just to put a diverse team around the table if you can't get it out. And, and then also, of course, from a personal point of view, when I'm sitting and seeing people around the table choosing to be quiet, or almost being forced to remain quiet, they have so much to contribute. Everybody wants to feel valued, want to feel that they have an important contribution to the team. And I think in, in today's so fast changing corporate environment as not, as a company we can't afford not to really bring everybody's full potential to the table. That's why we invite them there. So this is, this is, this is why, this is my perspective of this, of this topic of dialogue.

[00:08:05] Martin: Yeah. And, and, and you spoke about this, that you were so stunned. How can people that see the same world still think about it so differently? Can, can you share some examples? What, what has led you to that? . 

[00:08:18] Gerrit: Yeah. So they are all not directly business related, mm-hmm, but I think we put it together afterwards and make the link to leadership. Um, I think I would like to highlight three areas. The first one is related to motivation. Something I work with in my executive coaching all the time, uh, what motivates people, right. And, um, at the same time let's say we all know that people are different, but I'm again and again surprised how limited people are at seeing or, or even being open to accepting the fact that people have let's say very different priorities in their life. So a very basic example. Uh, there was a guy I met and he was talking to me about his latest achievements in sports, and he was so proud of it, right. I was mo almost like he wanted everybody to admire him for this. And then I said, you know, I was meeting this other guy who wanted to impress me with his corporate title. But what's the bigger accomplishment, to be whatever it was, uh, Vice President or you know to, to have this great, uh, physical achievement? And I was sitting there and I said like, wow, you know, actually, uh, does running faster, longer, jumping higher, does it make you a better person? And actually, I'm neither impressed by your athletic achievements nor by the corporate titles. I'd be more impressed if you did something to improve people's lives.

[00:10:01] Martin: But I mean, so it was clearly very important to them, right? But less important to you. 

[00:10:07] Gerrit: It was. And I think the key here is it's not just different interests, right, I am interested in basketball, and you are interested in golf. No, no. It's really about this deep sense of motivation. It's about sense and meaning making. Yeah. So it's, it's really what, what motivates people at the core. Mm-hmm. . And the second thing that I realized, um, I was doing my last holidays in Germany, I was reading a, a wonderful book by the German theologist, Eugen Drewermann, it's called: Judge not, The Penal Law and Christianity. And you know, I, I haven't read the whole book, so I might not have the full context, but I found some of these ideas very interesting. For instance, he says that punishment doesn't actually help much. If we put somebody in prison it does not necessarily make that person a better person. In fact, some people say the only thing that people learn in prison is how to become better criminals. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. But, you know, um, and, and another aspect was that while Drewermann does not, how should I say, does not want to justify or excuse any bad behavior, or if somebody causes harm to another person, he says, we need to understand why this person committed a crime. What happened to them? That they do something that the average person would never do. Yeah. So if we want to prevent it from happening, we need to get to the root cause. And I got very intrigued by these ideas and I wanted to discuss it with some friends. I wanted to have some genuine dialogue with them to exploit it. And what do you guess how most people responded? 

[00:12:08] Martin: Um, little bit reluctant. Yeah. 

[00:12:12] Gerrit: Most of them, total rejection. Mm-hmm, yeah. So I've got some comments. Yeah, but you know, if, if somebody has committed a crime, they must be punished. Mm. And, and the emphasis was kind of at the full stop at the end of the sentence, like indicating that's the end of the, the discussion. Yeah. Um, or if somebody says, you know, are you saying that somebody killed somebody 10 years ago, uh, that should not be punished today. And so the, the whole tone of voice was discouraging me from, from continuing the dis, discussion.

[00:12:46] Martin: In, in the case there is a lot of emotions behind, under the surface, right. There is something that you're touching. 

[00:12:56] Gerrit: Exactly. Exactly. And, and that is a very key point that you're making there Martin. And it led me then to the third, uh, aspect that I wanna highlight. So, coming back, for instance, to this tone of voice, I also realized my own limitations in participating in genuine dialogue. So I can also be very rigid in at least some of my views, right. And I'm not always open to other perspectives. And examples are, and I spend a lot of my life, um, in the science, science world, I have a doctoral degree in, in natural sciences. And so when somebody comes to me talking about something that I would label as esoteric or not evidence based, yeah. I can also be very quick in saying, Oh, you know, that's nonsense. Yeah. So I, I can do some very similar things that I'm complaining about when other people do them to me. 

[00:13:55] Gerrit: Um, but what we need to realize here is often, and you said there, there's a lot emotions going on. The real underlying issue is not so much that it's so obvious the other person is wrong. The underlying issue is our own defensiveness. What does that mean? We want to defend our own worldview. So if, let's say, this science has shaped my model of the world, and if now let's say, let's assume for a moment there was some truth in these esoteric views, then eventually a whole pillar of my, my own life's sense and meaning making might be challenged, right. So in in summary, when people become aggressive, condescending, they ridicule the other person or their point of view, it's often a defense mechanism, a sign of an underlying fear, if you wish, right. So, and now I bring this into the context of leadership. So we not only need to notice when other people are doing this, more importantly, we need to understand when are we doing it ourselves, right. So this leads to some, some self, um, exploration, I would say. 

[00:15:24] Martin: And I think this, this, this is very, this are three very personal examples from, from your experiences. And, and when I'm thinking about how this then applies in my beginning questions around, there is 10 people in the room and only 3 people talking, and, and many times those, those discussions can suddenly become very heated. And, and I remember one experience with one of my clients in Asia. And there was strategic planning session, we had an an offsite and it just goes in this very unproductive way with a few, uh, um, uh, very senior people driving and taking all the airtime and defending different positions. Yeah. And that is then when I was called in to help them to facilitate this strategic planning session. And also wanting to invite more than the direct leadership team. We expanded it to about 40 managers and we created more of a true dialogue because what, yeah, what your examples are highlighting to me and, is that we don't normally, we don't take enough time to understand the underlying meanings, the underlying importance. We don't give people enough time to listen to each other, nor Yeah, to explain deeper why is this so important to me. We are just scratching the surface. 

[00:17:01] Gerrit: Yeah. I would add, I would add, uh, um, uh, another perspective to it, right. It's, it's not only about the the time. It's also about, um, am I really interested in, do I really want to hear what they have to say or am I more motivated by, um, defending my own opinion. So I go already into this, uh, meeting with an opinion. But even then, so let's say, uh, coming back to that genuine dialogue is about suspending judgment. It's one thing, it's, it's easy to say, I will go into this meeting with an open mind and I will practice genuine dialogue, I will not be judgemental. This may be easy when its on a subject that you are not personally invested in. Yeah. But we say, you know, suspending judgment, it's what our brain does all the time. We are judging all the time. It's what the brain is supposed to do to judge quickly, this is right, this is wrong, and, and let's quickly, uh, move on. So we need to be aware, coming back to the leadership application, we need to be aware of automatic and often not non-conscious reactions that we have when it comes to certain topics. Mm-hmm. What are the trigger points? Sometimes it's the subject, sometimes it's the person. When do we raise our voice? When does our tone of voice, when do our, when does our whole nonverbal communication become, let's say, condescending? And why are we having such a strong reaction? Yeah, so for instance, what triggers our anger? Am I being defensive now? And if so, why? And, then, you know, I can take this for me as the individual leader, but also for my team members. I can, let's say you spoke about all these senior leaders, but now imagine there is a leader having a meeting only with their team members and say, you know, uh, let's practice genuine dialogue. Uh, let's genuinely listen to everybody. Let's suspend judgment. Yeah. It's one thing to say this, but we also then need to recognize, especially when people do this for the first time, It's not easy. Yeah. 

[00:19:21] Martin: And this is, this is, to me, seeing it so much from a group perspective, this, that we're a, a leader of a team needs to be so much better in so to say, lead this type of conversation that the dialogue is. So if one member in the team, one participant in the conversation has a difficulty suspending judgment, as a leader I can step in and bring it back on time. Right. And saying, ah, Gerrit, it seems you have a very strong opinion on this, um, can you let Martin finish his point first and then we will come back to you. Or saying, you know, Gerrit, sorry, now in the morning we decided we are going to listen and bring a diverse, per, different opinions, ideas on the table, and then in the afternoon we will start to dig into which of those ideas we should pursue. And then hopefully you would say, ah, sorry. Yes, of course. I, sorry, I, I, I got carried away. And, and as a leader, I need to focus so much, not only on the content, on the conversation, but also on the process of the conversation if you are in a group.

[00:20:32] Gerrit: When I listen to you, I'm just thinking it really requires a lot of work for a leader. Yeah. It's not just a new facilitation technique. Yeah, let's do this, uh, follow these five items, this is how it works and then we do it. Now it, it requires a lot of, what should I say, sensitivity, mm-hmm. And then the ability to facilitate is almost, um, an too easy term for it, but that, that is what it is. So

[00:21:02] Martin: I agree with you. It's, it's also to just understand that that is a, perhaps a new role that you have. If you walk into the meeting as a project leader or as the, as the MD, the head of a leadership team. If you walk in with a hat of being the MD or the project manager, you would focus very much on the content of the conversation, getting to the right conclusions. But if you also look at your hat that you can wear as a facilitator, meaning that you are not the one, you are guiding, you are there as a catalyst of the conversation among the other team members. That's a totally different role. And of course you can have both hats, but I, I think it's difficult to try to wear them at exactly the same time, like multitasking. You can say, now I'm acting as a facilitator, and in the different session you can say, okay, I'm taking off my facilitator hat, and now I'm acting as a member.

[00:22:05] Gerrit: Martin at the risk of throwing you off your train of thought a little bit. I imagine, as you just said, the managing director is coming in, and that reminds me of my clients. One thing that all my clients have in common is they are super busy. And so they might also go into this meeting with another idea and that is to come to a conclusion very quickly. And I wonder what your recommendations are because if I want to hear everybody's opinion, it will eventually be more time consuming. 

[00:22:40] Martin: Yes. I think this, you, you, you hit the nail on the head. It's this inherent dilemma between being effective and that might sometimes then really, um, shortcut the, the, the chance for a good dialogue and giving everybody time. And I think there is, there, there is, the first realization is to say; what is most important? Is the most important here, of this meeting, yeah, to give everybody a chance to voice their opinion, be heard, contribute to the solution of a problem, let's say in the problem solving meeting, and then design the agenda so there is time for that. And then move into the conclusion building part, the closing part of a meeting. And, and of course it takes time. I mean, I, if you want, and, and as a leader, if you have this pattern that typically only 3 people out of 10 are talking, you need to put into some rigid process to saying, okay, today we're going to play it differently. Today I am going to structure the discussion so that everybody gets a minute to talk and everybody else listens, and we take turns and you go through mechanically around the table. Or you can make it more fun, right? You can say, okay, Gerrit, why don't you start, you get one minute and then you can throw the ball to somebody else, and you pick who goes next, and then you go through, and if you have 10 people, that takes 10 minutes. If you need everybody to talk for two minutes, it takes 20 minutes. You just need to design your agenda.

[00:24:23] Gerrit: You Martin, you, you talk about it so casually. I think listeners might miss the huge impact this can have because coming back to this very simple example, and I think every, every listener knows this, these, these meetings, it's always the same people who are talking. It's always the same people who are quiet. And the quiet people, I'm sure they also have great ideas. Yes. So we are missing a lot. Yes. And, and you have told, taught me once this exercise of equal voice, and I've experienced how powerful this is when, um, of course it's better with smaller groups, right, but where you then say like, yeah, everybody gets whatever it is, one or two minutes to just talk about whatever it is based on this subject and the others are forced to listen. Mm-hmm. And I've done this with teams and they've never experienced this before, and suddenly many people were surprised what these usually quiet people, yes, had to say. Yeah. So it's, I, I just wanna make sure that, that people are really getting how huge the impact of this can be. 

[00:25:33] Martin: But also how scary it is for a team that is not used to this. I mean, you as a leader, I mean, you need to make sure that there is some basic level of trust and comfort so that people will start to talk. And sometime the best thing to do that I have done is if people feel uncomfortable, let them take turns, and they can choose by themselves. Yeah, am I ready to talk or not? And if I'm not, then let somebody else. So, so the sequence of who speaks can also be changed based on the comfort level, right. Or you could even say, you know, if you don't, if you need more time to think, use the one or two minutes to think we can have one minutes of silence as well. That is also good. Don't force people. The other thing is a lot here that without going too deep, is that sometime people need time to collect their thoughts. And there is a nice little exercise that is called 1-2-4-All. 

[00:26:36] Gerrit: What's that? I don't know that? 

[00:26:37] Martin: That means that you give everybody a time to think alone. That is the 1. Then you group people together in pairs and they share what they have thought about in pairs. Then your group pairs together in 4 and they share in a group, and then you let each of the bigger groups report back to the, to the whole. And this means that you can, you can build a little bit more safety in this. It's not so, so scary to say something clever in front of the CEO immediately. You build your own thinking, you check it with a peer, you check it in a smaller group, and then. And, and this builds, mm-hmm, genuine dialogue and it also speeds up the time a little bit. So there, I, I think my main message here is for leaders, if you learn some of these basic facilitation, guiding, techniques, you can achieve a better dialogue. And more people get the chance to be heard, we can understand each other. And then when we see a shared meaning, we then we can start to better build a shared direction, right, we can agree, for instance, on what are the priorities for next quarter or et cetera, right.

[00:27:52] Gerrit: Martin, you spoke about the scary parts of this, and I think there's another aspect of scariness. So I imagine like my, my typical clients, as I said, they're all super busy and I think they might get scared when I think, oh my God, how much time is this taking? You know, I never have enough time in any given day to, to do the things that need to be done. Now, Martin is telling me everybody needs take turns and then we talk in, we think individually, and then we talk in groups and this and that. Ah, this will take forever. So, Martin, do you have anything how you could peop put people at, at ease with this, or no, what should I say, highlight the, the benefits. Why, why is it worth that? 

[00:28:41] Martin: I think it, it is because we know that we need to help teams to think together. You hire all these clever people and you're not going to use it? Mm-hmm. You got to put them together. Or if you are in a complex change project, let's say a sustainability transformation, you need to bring a lot of different stakeholders to the table. Are you going to have all of them, the majority of them sitting quiet and then going back and doing nothing. I mean, the downside is huge. So I think the mindset is first: there is no way for you to shortcut dialogue. The effect down the road makes you lose so much more time. And, and, and we all know this, I don't know if it's true, but they're saying some sort of a study showing that 70% of transformation and change fails. How much time is that lost? Compared to spending one day of deeper dialogue at the beginning. But having said that, there is, for instance, something called Lightning Decision Jam, which is a very nice little exercise that just takes 45 minutes to 60 minutes where you can already start to practice this. You can Google that Lightning Decision Jam. It's a pattern of a conversation, yeah, that involves everybody, to solve and prioritize a problem. So there are techniques and I think as a leader we should learn those techniques. You do not need to have an external facilitator to come in and do this for you. As a leader today, I think this should be part of your toolkit and, yeah absolutely, and, and it's so much we need to help people to think better together. That is how we can solve the complex problems, yeah, right. 

[00:30:29] Gerrit: So if I, if I rephrase one of the key messages I heard from you, it's not about how much longer will my meeting take if, if you stick with the example of a meeting, but what will I be missing, if I don't take the additional time. And you said, you know, how much time is that lost, but also how much potential and how much money is lost? Mm-hmm, and it leads me back to the beginning when you spoke about, yeah, we talked a lot about diversity and inclusion, but when I see how it's often executed by, you know, just then we hire a few more people of the missing skin color and the missing gender, and then we have diversity. But the real power of diversity is to elicit these different worldviews and to come up with something new. And I think we can share with our listeners it's, it's also happening with us all the time, right. Um, we look differently at the world and sometimes there can be some friction when I, you know, when I talk about something and I wonder why is Martin not getting it. But then we also see again and again when we're working on projects together, when, let's say each of us would have to do it individually, um, we would miss so much. Yes, and often then we talk and, and then you know, something new comes up and say, oh yeah, you know, now that makes sense. And that's just the two of us. Imagine you multiply this with coming back to the team of 10 people, or whole corporation of a couple of thousand people, that is really huge. 

[00:32:05] Martin: Another thing I'm coming across when we're talking about these kind of conversations, these dialogues, helping teams to think together, is that leaders are always little bit reluctant then, because how can we make decisions? If you have a dialogue, if I so to say, I need to listen to everybody, everybody's voice counts. Okay, we have a nice listening session, we got a lot of good ideas on the whiteboard. How do we make decisions? What if people don't agree? Yeah, and and I think this is something that then makes leaders hesitant to apply this. Because of course, a dialogue, this kind of conversation, doesn't necessarily need to lead to agreement. There's a high chance that we co-create and discover something we have in common during the dialogue, but not necessarily, right. 

[00:32:57] Gerrit: Yes. And I'm so, so glad, I'm so glad you're bringing this up because it may sound so, so soft, right. Let's have a dialogue, we listen to everybody, we're genuinely interested in the other person. Uh, but it does not mean that we always, yeah, we, we don't always have to agree. Uh, genuine dialogue does not mean that we can't have constructive conflicts, but the key here is to make an effort. To understand, mm-hmm, uh, the other, the other person. So that in the corporate context mean that enables us to elicit new ideas. Mm-hmm, it doesn't mean that at the end of a process, everything will always be harmonious and everybody will be happy. No, that's, that's not what we are looking at. And maybe even to add that, I was talking about the tone of voice and, and anger and fear. There, I, I truly believe that there can be situations when raising your voice or making, let's say, constructive use of your anger is appropriate. Yeah, for instance, when, uh, sometimes people are not getting the message, when you are too soft, there are individuals like this, or when you need to protect someone, then, then you can use your anger constructively. 

[00:34:17] Martin: And, and those, those emotions, those emotions are a great sign of passion. There is something there to be harvested and, and as a, as a leader then to, I think we, we should not shy away from this. Um, we should actually then stop and explore that deeper. And really because yeah, this, this anger or this, this, this energy, this, this energy, it shows something really important. Of course we need to harvest that and bring that to the table in a constructive way. 

[00:34:51] Martin: Yeah, but I, I also wanted to connect back to this about time, I think some reason why leaders say, you know, we don't have time for dialogue. I've tried it, it just leads to everybody's happy, we have listened to everybody, but then no conclusion. It's a waste of time because there is no actionable conclusion. And I totally agree. Dialogue on itself is not effective. We need dialogue, and then we also need effective decision making process after the dialogue, right. It's not dialogue as a standalone. So if it's separate, if we having, we having full involvement during the dialogue phase, that doesn't mean that we need to decide to make decision based on consensus. You as a leader can of course say, you know, I'm going, let's everybody talk and we can listen to each other, and then I'm going to make decision based on what I heard. That is fine. Yeah. Or you can decide on saying, you know, we are going to try to reach consensus, but if it cannot reach consensus, at the end of the day, I'm as the leader, I'm going to make the decision. So we don't confuse: the dialogue part has its time, the decision making process has, its time.

[00:36:11] Gerrit: Yeah, beautiful. And when I come back to the beginning of the episode when we talk, we, we both got excited, but we got excited about different things. First of all, I, I, I think I could sense your excitement today and I hope our listeners could sense, uh, both our excitement.

[00:36:28] Martin: Mm-hmm, let's look into some reflection questions, because I have one good reflection question I want to share. As a leader, think about how can you use dialogue to scale up your influence, your impact as a leader in the organization. What people, what teams, and for what questions do I would want to use a more dialogue approach to scale up my influence as a.

[00:37:01] Gerrit: Hmm, that's a good one. Yeah. Before I add my reflection, question or questions. So I think, um, as we said, we bring in different perspectives. And I think it shows again how these different perspectives add up to the bigger whole. So the essence for me is that for effective leadership, we need both, we need on one hand the tools and the processes that you talked a lot about, but we also need to understand the, what should I say, the natural, almost natural limitations to being open to suspending judgment within ourselves and others. And that then leads me to my reflection questions. Number one would be, What are the worldviews that I hold dearly and that I don't like to see challenged, and in which situations, or what triggers me being defensive, resulting in raising my voice, um, ridiculing what the other person is, is saying that what comes, mm-hmm, to mind for me. Any, anything else that you would like to add?

[00:38:21] Martin: I think this is also a matter of practicing. Use this reflection question and then practice more as a leader.

[00:38:31] Gerrit: All right. Then this concludes today's episode. If you like the podcast, remember to subscribe on your favorite platform so you don't miss out on the latest episodes. And if you would like to help us grow the show, we will really appreciate it if you tell a friend about it, post on social media and leave a positive comment or rating.

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